Can't get no satisfaction? That may be a good thing...

Sombit Mishra

Here's some evidence that higher patient satisfaction could be a bad thing...
 
In 2012, a group of UC Davis researchers found that out of 52,000 patients surveyed, the most satisfied patients spent the most on healthcare and prescription drugs; this cohort was 12% more likely to be readmitted to the hospital and the most likely to die.  

The study found that satisfied patients were spending more on discretionary services and, in many cases, were being over-diagnosed/over-treated by their physicians.

The ideal test would be to measure outcomes and cost reduction, not satisfaction.  For now, it appears patient satisfaction surveys are providing more noise than signal to the healthcare system.